From the moment I picked up the novel with a purple paper back and a Hollywood star on it, I fell in love with Marian Keyes.
To those who are unaware of this great, amazing writer, she’s an Irish novelist who has won the hearts of many others like me. Her books are of the chick-lit genre. Okay, don’t quote me guys. I only know the main genre of books (i.e horror, fiction, non-fiction) etc and not so much about “chick-lit” genre but I am guessing it indicates some piece of literature that chicks enjoy reading. Or something like that.
Angels, which was the first book that I read of her was about Maggie Walsh, who was the white sheep of her family, the obedient child. All her life she had done everything right. She had a pretty average life with the second love of her life Paul (Garv, if you prefer). Until a series of “setbacks” turned things around. To take some time out, she went to L.A, the city of angels (hence, the title of the book) to live with her best friend Emily who introduced her to the Fabulous Life. She went to crazy parties, got a drastic haircut that reduced her long mane into a bob, got her nails done for the second time in her life, had sex with one of Emily’s love interests-something she would never have done if she had been her old self. And then she met Shay Delaney-the first love of her life. Would she ditch her husband and a pretty normal life for an adventurous one with Shay? You HAVE to read it.
Marian has written about all the Walsh sisters: Claire in Watermelon, whose husband leaves her the same day she gave birth to their daughter ( a prick, i tell ya), Anna in Anybody Out There who has a tragic twist in her perfect life with her perfect job and her perfect partner ( best part- feathery strokers), Rachel in Rachel’s holiday where Rachel doesn’t exactly go to a holiday- she does, but not in the same way she hopes- to overcome her “problem” that she’s in denial of. And you already know about Maggie. Helen is the one whose story I still haven’t read but intend to.
Anyway, I was about to give you the review of The Other Side Of The Story. It’s not about the Walsh sisters, though. Actually, it’s a break from tradition. It’s not about one, but three women whose lives are connected to each other.
First off, we meet Gemma Hogan who is still bitter over her best friend Lily Wright for stealing her boyfriend, the love of her life. Lily has the perfect life ( or so it seems to Gemma) with the one she wants and a beautiful baby daughter and a book deal. And Gemma? She has nothing. And as if the pain of living without Anton was not enough, her Dad did something totally out of character. He left his wife. At the age of 60. So not only does Gemma have to deal with her tiring job ( she is an event manager who had to deal with crazy clients and crazy wishes everyday- so tough that even with my hectic job I actually felt really sorry for her). All through this she emails her other best friend Emily- keeping her in the loop as they say. And then something amazing happens: Emily compiles those emails and gives it to JoJo Harvey, a literary agent.
Jojo Harvey, a literary agent. Who is also Lily’s literary agent. But Jojo is unaware of the background between the two. Even if she knew, she wouldn’t be too bothered by it. She had a hard time dealing with the secret affair she was having with her boss, Mark. She had tried her best to stop it but Mark had been persistent and she had always found him attractive. Still, she wasn’t a complete bitch about it and didn’t want Mark to leave his wife. Or their two kids. But some things are too good to stop. And things were okay. As long as no one knew. But how long before the cover was blown? And someone from work did know about it. At work, she had a new writer, Lily, who she was counting on to make her money. But when Lily’s book bombs, Jojo has to find another one to replace it. Could it be Gemma’s?
And then we meet Lily Wright, the infamous bitch who stole Gemma’s bloke. But she’s not a bitch- at all. Actually, she’s a sweetheart and still feels guilty about her and Anton’s relation- specially the circumstances they met in. In her heart, she had been unfaithful to Gemma and thinks that her life might fall apart because karma is a bitch. But Anton, the lovely Anton, reassures her that nothing will go wrong and tries to win her over with his optimism. Because Lily has just written a book that is setting the world on fire, Lily and Anton fall into a trap of taking loans against the money they will receive for the book. But not all things go as planned. And not karma, but the loans do come to bite them in the ass. And Lily starts having doubts about her relationship with Anton and whether or not they are suited together. Was Gemma right when she said “rememberthe way you met him because this is how you will lose him“?
All in all, it’s a good book. And you’ll love it if you’re a fan of Marian’s. I started reading it and I could relate to Gemma although none of the things that had happened to her, had happened to me. But I liked her. Jojo is shown as a fierce, tall, beautiful lady who’s too ambitious. Not that too ambitious is a bad thing- everyone should be. She’s like the ideal woman. The woman you wish you were and the woman you wish your daughter to be. Not the affair part, of course but her personality. And I hated Lily because she stole Anton. But after reading the book, I could relate to her more than Gemma because the things that Lily went through are the same that I went through. Losing my own house, mother remarrying, father remarrying..wow, I’m beginning to think Marian has based the character on me but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. At the end, everyone’s happy. That happens in all Marian’s novel. At least you have a happy ending to look forward to.